HC Deb 25 February 1886 vol 302 cc1194-5

asked Mr. Chancellor of the Exchequer, Whether he will kindly consider the practicability of complying with the wishes of the agricultural labourers that the cottage brewing licences shall expire in April instead of September, so that those who cannot afford to take them till haytime in May or June may be able to enjoy the use of them for all the year instead of for only a small portion of it, as now?


asked Mr. Chancellor of the Exchequer, If he would consider the inequality of the farmer with a large house and small farm having to pay the Private Brewer's Duty, whilst the farmer with a small house but a large farm pays the licence only; and, whether, considering the small sums produced to the Exchequer by Private Brewer's Licences, he would consider the utility of abolishing them altogether?


In answer to the hon. Member for Suffolk (Mr. Everett), I made some inquiry about this matter, and I hope something may be done; but I do not wish to pledge myself. In reference to the Question of the hon. Member for Shropshire (Mr. J. More), there is considerable difficulty about the first part. This matter was very carefully considered at the time the alteration was made in the Malt Tax, and I fear I cannot propose any change in that direction. As to the second part of the Question, it is quite true that the sum derived from these licences is very small; but then we have to consider the unfair operation which this would have upon small brewers. At present I do not see my way to abolishing these licences.